How Stephen Tarpley is Following the Successful Adjustment He Made With the Orioles

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Stephen Tarpley in the Travis Snider trade at the end of January. When the lefty first arrived in the system, I talked with him and fellow southpaw Steven Brault, who was the other player acquired for Snider. At the time, Tarpley had barely been throwing, with only one bullpen under his belt in the Spring. Today he threw two innings of live batting practice, giving me my first extended look at his stuff.

I talked with Tarpley after the outing, discussing what he has been working on with the Pirates. He’s still in the “no touch” phase of things, where the Pirates watch and evaluate his stuff. However, Tarpley will be approaching the pitching coaches soon to get some advice on his mechanics.

The specific thing he wants to work on is staying back, and being consistent with his delivery. That was an issue in the past for Tarpley, and he made some improvements after switching to a three-quarters arm slot. He’s hoping to get back to that success and those mechanics from the second half of last year, in order to start off strong this season.

Check out the video below for Tarpley explaining what he needs to work on with his mechanics, along with some video of his outing, including a three pitch strikeout to end his day.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Surprising to me that they’re using the “not touch” approach on Tarpley. Already 22 yo with two professional seasons under his belt, and they obviously have plenty of video on him already.

Would be interested in hearing the reasoning for this situation.


I’m guessing it is so that they can see what his natural tendencies are and what he tries to do before deciding if they need to just try to tweak some things or do an overhaul of his mechanics.


It will be interesting to compare Tarpley, who switched organizations midway through his minor league development, with other pitchers that the Pirates have drafted and developed from prep/jc status.

Scott Kliesen

I like what he said and how he said it. Appears to have a good attitude towards being coached up.

Yet another good article and interview, Tim.

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